How to contact us for advice

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Our advice service

We provide advice to parents, grandparents, relatives, friends and kinship carers who are involved with children’s services in England or need their help. We can help you understand processes and options when social workers or courts are making decisions about your child’s welfare.

Our advice service is free, independent and confidential.

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By phone or email

To speak to an adviser, please call our free and confidential advice line 0808 801 0366 (Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3pm, excluding Bank Holidays). For Textphone dial 18001 followed by the advice line number. Or you can ask us a question via email using our advice enquiry form.

Discuss on our forums

Our online advice forums are an anonymous space where parents and kinship carers (also known as family and friends carers) can get legal and practical advice, build a support network and learn from other people’s experiences.

Advice on our website

Our get help and advice section describes the processes that you and your family are likely to go through, so that you know what to expect. Our webchat service can help you find the information and advice on our website which will help you understand the law and your rights.

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Cross-party Parliamentary Taskforce: Evidence Gathering

The Taskforce has carried out an extensive evidence-gathering exercise. Thousands of kinship carers and the children they are raising have shared their experiences with us, as have legal and social work practitioners, local and national decision makers and organisations working with kinship care families.

This evidence is summarised in the Taskforce report and has informed the Taskforce’s vision and recommendations launched on 30 September 2020.

Regional kinship carer consultation events

Between January and September 2019 Family Rights Group coordinated a series of ten Taskforce meetings across England and Wales, on behalf of the Taskforce. Each event was held by a different organisation in the Kinship Care Alliance and where Parliamentary business permitted, chaired by an MP:

  • Birmingham Children’s Trust – Midlands
  • Coram BAAF – South East of England
  • Family Rights Group – South West England
  • Kinship – London and North East England
  • Kinship Carers Liverpool – North West of England
  • Leeds City Council – Yorkshire and the Humber
  • Taunton Kinship Care Support Group – Somerset
  • Children in Wales – South Wales
  • Y Bont – North Wales

In addition, a number of local kinship groups held special Parliamentary Taskforce discussion sessions and invited their local MPs to attend. Notes from the discussion sessions were forwarded to the Taskforce as part of the evidence-gathering.

Kinship carer surveys

In 2020 Family Rights Group on behalf of the Taskforce conducted a survey of kinship carers’ experiences during the Pandemic. The survey’s findings can be read here.

In 2019 Family Rights Group carried out an extensive survey of kinship carers. 845 kinship carers raising at least 1252 kinship children filled in the survey.

The survey report – ‘The highs and lows of kinship care: analysis of a comprehensive survey of kinship carers 2019’  was published in September 2019. Analysis of the survey has been presented to the Taskforce and has informed the Taskforce’s recommendations.

Written evidence submissions

Freedom of Information request to local authorities

The Taskforce sent a Freedom of Information request in February 2019 to all English local authorities. The responses have been analysed and the results incorporated in the Taskforce’s report.

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